Smithers Shogun Dojo was in Quebec last month fighting at the World Karate and Kickboxing Council National championships with some big wins.
“The Smithers team this year was very well prepared, better prepared than any other year,” Shogun Dojo coach, Marwan Abu Khadra said.
“We had more competitors than before and were well prepared because of previous tournaments down in Ferine and provincials in Williams Lake.”
Shogun Dojo has become one of the most respected names on the W.K.C. circuit.
With 22 fighters participating in both kata and sparring matches Shogun captured a number of medals including three bronze and a qualification for the team kata event at the W.K.C. world championships in October.
Lisa Ramos, one of Shoguns most experienced athletes beat the 2011 world champion during competition, an accomplishment not easily achieved.
Tariqe Abu Khadra also had one of his better tournaments, fighting seven competitors to qualify for the W.K.C championships.
“Everybody trained hard but they trained exceptionally hard, they didn’t miss one class,” Abu Khadra said.
Abu Kadra stresses to all his fighters that you’re only as good as your training.
He said when you’re at this level of competition regular training is essential.
Those who train hard win big.
“For me the highlight was the team kata girls,” Abu Khadra said.
“If they do that at worlds I’m sure they’ll place in the top three.”
Although many of his athletes are well trained, it still takes unyielding dedication to become a world champion, something Abu Kadra has done again and again for his fighters.
“Every coach has one responsibility, to motivate their students,” he said.
“If they don’t motivate them, they have no interest.
So motivation from my side was a bit more of a drill, I drilled myself to motivate them.
This is the most important thing.”
With 14 students qualified for the worlds, Abu Khadra has high expectations for his fighters.
But nothing comes easy and they only have a few months before the opening in Montreal, training will be a priority.
“If everyone trains the way I want them to and they go with an open mind to the worlds without any fear, I think they can score big time. To be in the top three would be great to see.”